DeeDee Doke/LONDON

Boeing is calling for the aviation industry to "take a fresh, critical look at seat integration" in light of increasing passenger complaints about the lack of personal space. Seatback IFE equipment, armrest telephones and other "nice touches" intrude into personal space on aircraft - particularly in economy class. Locating them elsewhere would give passengers better value, says Klaus Brauer, project director for passenger revenue development, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group.

A passenger 1.83m tall in a seat with 812.8mm (32in) pitch has 500mm between his face and the seat ahead, losing 10% of that distance if a 50mm-thick telephone is installed there and 50mm more with a seatback video. An another 100mm is lost if the seat ahead is reclined, Brauer said at the Aircraft Interiors show in Cannes, France.

Surveys show that most passengers prefer telephones, for example, to be mounted in the bulkhead, says Brauer, adding that airlines should "not allow the electronic tail to wag the dog".

Brauer's comments come as Boeing is becoming increasingly active in the IFE sector, joining the race to field in-flight e-mail, internet and television services with its Connexion products.

Source: Flight International